One of Those Days . . . er, Summers

It has been a good, if hectic, summer.

The Boy joined Gamefly, and has worked his way through quite a few games.

He can hold lucid conversations about them, and will tell you why a game did or did not work for him. He can describe games in terms of engine, dynamics and storytelling, rather than body count, gallons of blood and felonies committed.

He likes to download game screenshots, and uses them to illustrate the first-person stories he writes about his adventures, and puts them together in PowerPoint (2003 -- I really dislike 2007's interface and refuse to switch until I have no choice).

We spent entirely too much of the summer watching the cooking shows on BBC America, and he is completely enchanted with Gordon Ramsay (more Kitchen Nightmares than Boiling Point) and feels compelled to comment on everything, from the geography of tomatoes at the local farmer's market ("You can't buy those, Mommy -- they're from West Texas! That's too far away!" or "Are Israeli melons actually from Israel, or did you grow them here?") to the quality of a grilled cheese ("This side is darker than that side. Gordon Ramsay would make you throw it away and start over.").

He has taken up cooking seriously, and cooked dinner last night and tonight (root beer floats and tacos, and macaroni-and-cheese vegetable soup, from the Better Homes & Gardens Kids Step-by-Step Cookbook, which is old and out-of-print and really terrific if you can find it. He dismissed the current crop of post-Ratatouille cookbooks as "baby-ish" and "stupid").

We did Harry Potter madness, and spent $142 when we were supposed to spend $20 (I got a magazine).

The Boy was pleased that we were right about certain elements of the story, and he was pleased with the ending.

He made the observation on his own that J.K. Rowling managed to end the series in such a way that no one could go back later, add more books and ruin it.

We read a billion Bionicle books, and he took apart all his Bionicles and built new things out of them. The Bionicles it took me forever to put together, the same Bionicles that made me wish I had an engineering degree or two.

He went fishing for a week with his grandfather and brought home a ton of catfish.

The kittens all went to live in places where The Boy can visit them.

The Boy has not logged into the Texas standardized test prep site even once, despite having been supplied with a user name and password for the summer by the school. After his meltdown at the end of the year I don't have a problem with that at all.

School starts August 27, so he'll have plenty of time to catch up.


Anonymous said...

I've been noddling about the idea of a developing a "formal" critical framework for reviewing games as narrative. I'd be interested to read some of The Boy's reviews, perhaps even publishing them on MBB as a part of the exploration.

Let me know if you guys would be interested in that!